bloodteethandflame

A life in threes

Category: Odin

Process.

 

So I’ve been spending a lot of time working on products for my shop, which requires me to indulge in my favorite embroidery addictions.

I’m happy to say that it seems to be paying off just a wee bit – as I’ve had two sales in two weeks, and two more of my upcoming embroidery projects have garnered a lot of interest – which is an exciting and welcome distraction from the emotional intensity of the last two weeks.

Since the items folks searched for most often as well as ‘liked’ most often within my shop happen to be

’embroidered altar cloths’

and

‘runes’

Thus I’ve been testing different patterns of runes, along with testing out different thread blends, stitch patterns, and a lot of sketching (because one of my favorite things about my product process is developing various ideas and incorporating new imagery for embroidering onto altar cloths.)

But as much as I have been making a lot of altar cloths for my shop, I decided to make a new altar cloth for my personal altar.

I didn’t have a concrete idea in mind, though. I hadn’t mapped anything out.

But I figured that I would come up with something.

So, beginning at the lower left corner, I started stitching a smaller version of this design:

(It’s hard to see out of a color scheme but it’s a heart entwined into a triple horn – a design I’ve come to use to represent both of Them.)

And if you know me, I like working with color blends.

 

It’s a little more work – but I think it’s definitely worth it.

(One shade of red, two oranges, and a yellow for Loki, and four shades of blue for Odin. )

At first, I’d only intended to stitch this design onto one corner…but it’s as if I like to make work for myself  when it comes to embroidery

so I stitched it onto two corners:

Then, I sized down a particular border layout, as I wanted to test out some of my new silk thread blends, so I began embroidering

my favorite thing:

a border of  Elder Futhark runes.

But a challenge arose with the fabric – a black and grey cotton tie dye – as I found myself struggling to find a color combination that would ‘show up’ against the fabric which had so much variation in color and shade.

A lot of the lighter colors appeared ‘washed out’ in the pattern, so I tried several shades of blue, lavender, and grey thread as tests:

(For example, the Ansuz (ᚨ) is a light blue thread, and the Kenaz (ᚲ) is a lavender thread, though here, they look the same, in that light. O.o)

So I picked out/undid the stitching of the lavender thread, and continued the borders in a light to medium blue.

Fehu to Jera on the left side…and Eihwaz to Othala on the right side.

So, I thought perhaps the two heart/triplehorn should

flank sixteen larger runes

– *an invitation in dark blue*-

for the central portion of the altar cloth.

But this blue looked oddly ‘sunk’ (appearing to fade/disappear) against the darker portions of the pattern:

So, as you see here, I decided to outline the darker runes with a silk blend silver thread…

and I really liked the way it looked.

I liked it so much that I don’t know what I was thinking but

– silly me! –

I wondered how long could it take to outline sixteen runes?

I love embroidering runes (really I do!) so it won’t take long, I thought.

I mean, I’ve had lots of practice, eh?

Since it took me about a half of an hour to hand-stitch the 24 runes (12 on each side)

and about twenty more minutes to stitch the sixteen runes in the center

 I figured it would take me an hour

– maybe two –

to outline all of them.

Heh.

Well, I am a lot slower than I thought.

It took me almost three hours to outline just those sixteen dark blue runes on this altar cloth.

(Perhaps some other day, I will outline the 24 lighter ones that border the edges at the left and the right.)

~~~

And then the next day…after walking the dogs and doing my daily routines,

I decided that this altar cloth also needed to have a design to separate *the two sets of eight runes in the center.*

That invitation which looks like this:

(Laþu Loki)

and

(Laþu Odin)

At first, I thought I’d just make a little twist or a swirl, but no matter what I did

It didn’t look right.

So I picked, cut, and pulled out all the threads of that little swirly circular button.

And then I decided, how about the World Tree?

I mean, I had about a 2 or 3 inch rectangle to work with, so I thought I’d stitch this, in bright green thread:

(Psst…it was harder than it looked!)

It’s so hard to make things look symmetrical after midnight.

So, again, I unraveled that design and I picked out all those long, graceful stitches

so

so

carefully.

And I sat there staring at it for a bit.

But then I did another World Tree:

I thought it covered up the pulling spots nicely 🙂

Finished outlining the letters…

 

and as the finishing touch, I stitched a purple border around the heart/triple horns.

~~~

And here it is – my new altar cloth –

Hail Loki ❤ Hail Odin

 

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Milestone.

About two weeks ago, I celebrated a personal and spiritual milestone.

It has been one year since I welcomed Odin into my life.

I say ‘welcomed’ because…well, if you know me, you’d remember that I’d been fighting against working with Him for years.

At any rate, in celebration of that, I’d like to share a story with you – involving Odin,  a prayer card,  and my poor excuse for neglecting to leave Etsy feedback:

10 January 2018

Today, something occurred to me regarding my attitude towards working with Odin.

Even though it’s been a year – today! – since I welcomed Odin back into my life (it’s a long story!) I realized that I’m not going to get very far if I don’t entirely let go of that default setting/thought under which I’d operated  for the four years prior to 10 January 2017…and that concerns what was once my belief that

Odin is an [redacted but rather common obscenity]

It’s getting in my way; it’s getting in the way of my progress.

~~~

But I suppose progress is being made, because there’s this Odin prayer card that’s been sitting on my altar since this past July.

It’s a nice picture of Odin, isn’t it?

The artwork is by W. McMillan.

But what I’m going to write about now about concerns the prayer to Odin (written by Galina Krasskova) on the other side of this prayer card….and how powerful it has become for me to say it aloud.

I want to admit to you all that when I first purchased this prayer card, I bought it for the artwork; I hadn’t considered the prayer on the back of it at all.

Funny how that is, because it’s a pretty powerful one….but I quickly realized that I didn’t feel comfortable saying it aloud.

Words are important.

And the words of a prayer, the words of an oath are even more so.

I didn’t think that I could bring myself to make that kind of oath – to Odin.

So I would simply read the words – in pieces, and never all at once! – and I would silently marvel over how beautiful they were, and how evocative of Him.

But I could not – I would not – read them aloud.

It sounds foolish, I know.

Observe:

Prayer to Odin

Galina Krasskova

All-Father, I ask Your blessings.

Breathe into me,

Oh God of gainful counsel.

Nourish me, Wish-Giver

that I might know You more fully and well.

I hail You, God of wisdom, cunning and inspiration.

I hail You, ruthless in Your desires.

I hail You, God of single-minded hunger.

Be welcome in my life, my heart, my home.

Master of the Tree, I sacrifice to You:

my fears, my doubts, my hesitations.

Open me up to the knowledge of things holy

Wisest Lord, open me up to You.

I will seek You with the fervor

with which You sought the runes.

Always will I honor You.

Be my mead, be my joy,

be the prize at the end of my seeking.

Hail, Odin, Hail, All-father

Hail, Lord of Hosts.

~~~

Reading these words, I felt afraid because the words struck me as an oath that was beyond what I was comfortable giving to Odin.

But as I’ve often said – and I still believe it is true – that whatever Odin wants, He wants all of it. He wants all that can be given. There is nothing half-assed about Odin – nothing. And that was the essence of my awe – and my fear – of Him: I am still both terrified and awed by His single-minded determination…but by the same token, He demands that His devotees be as single-minded as He is –  about their desires, their goals, everything that they are. He wants His devotees to know themselves, to push themselves and to sacrifice themselves to … themselves, and to their purpose and to their goals, whatever it may be.

He is similar to a relentless general that way:

Honor Me by being the best that you can be in My name, for Me.

One of the most profound things I’ve ever heard said about Odin is that He will never ask you to do something He hasn’t done, or rather, something He would be unwilling to do.

Think about it: Odin hung Himself for nine days and nine nights.

Perhaps it was to discover what death was, or to find out where Death takes oneself – He was willing to metaphorically

if not literally

die .

He didn’t even spare Himself in His quest for knowledge, for that paradox of experience, for Divinity itself.

Perhaps He had to know, He had to experience that situation first-hand – you gotta admit that’s pretty f-ing crazy and yet unerringly logical – if one wants to know every nook and cranny of an experience, they are going to have to go through the experience themselves.

There is no avoiding it.

For me, that is the essence of His fury.

Odin is relentless, insatiable,  mysterious, and multi-faceted.

There is only one other God that I know of Who is as insatiable, as relentless and as multi-faceted as Odin

and that is Loki.

So it is no mystery to me as to why They’d be drawn to each other

Nor is it a surprise to me that They would have such a powerful and profound connection between Them.

~~~

But nonetheless, I am ready.

Rune-carving.

So I spent yesterday morning hand carving runes for my shop:

…and goodness, was it an adventure!

You see, I’d never carved runes to be used by someone else before, so I wasn’t entirely certain how they would come out.

As well, I hadn’t used this particular set of wood carving blades/chisels to carve runes before, so there was a learning curve there as well.

Surprisingly, I had to sharpen them halfway through the process. (They were brand new so I don’t know how or why they dulled so quickly. Hmmm.*)

At any rate, the only rune I seemed to have difficulty with actually carving for some reason was Ansuz, (the fourth rune).

Even galdring Ansuz felt somehow strange, as well.

and even though I made offerings to each of my own stone runes** as I carved each new rune on the wooden blank:

…it was rough going for the next few runes.

However by the time, I’d reached Eiwhaz, (a rune that feels most like an old friend), I was feeling more confident, having reached a sort of rhythm in both the carving and the galdring.

So, after Eiwhaz the rest of the runes came to rather nicely.

And the next thing you know, I had Othala on the carving block…

And I realized I was finished with the ‘carving’ part.

Overall, I am feeling pretty good about the whole process…and one step closer to having a rune set ready for my shop.

~~~

Though I cannot help but recall that in the summer of 2014, I had a psychic tell me in a reading that I would find satisfaction in woodcarving, and I had to laugh.
I hadn’t attempted to carve anything in wood since I was a child.
But I bought my first wood carving blade shortly after that, so I think I can admit that she was right.

I did enjoy that process 🙂

~~~

*  I was using ash blanks, if that makes any difference…

* * Since I’d been told by several runecrafters that one should not ‘feed’ a rune set if it is going to be given to someone else – that should be left for the purchaser/user to do – I found much to my surprise that my own runes were quite hungry… O.o

Month for Loki, Twelfth: Love You Madly

For the past few years, this song was on my Loki playlist.

But lately, I have come to realize that this song could easily be evocative of both of Them.

Now I don’t know so much about kissing

but I do know that I have

(at one time or another)

sat across the table from either of Them

wishing I could run.

So.

That being said

 if Loki requests that I welcome Odin as I’ve welcomed Him

Then I might as well accept that I have gone a bit mad, eh?

Because I do want to love Them madly.

(Perhaps ‘madly’ might be the only way one could love Them.)

Words fail.

~~~

As well Perfect Drug is starting to have Blood Bros overtones too…

O.o

Month for Loki, First: Prayer

Welcome to the first day of July!*

So here I am again, facing another July with an ever-evolving devotional practice that includes Loki… and Odin.

To that end, a week or so ago, I ordered a pair of gorgeous prayer cards from Wyrd Curiosities on Etsy so you can imagine my delight when they were delivered this morning — just in time for the first of the month:

prayercardinsert

((left): Loki prayer card, artwork by Grace Palmer; (center) Loki note card, artwork by W. McMillan; (right) Odin prayer card, artwork also by W. McMillan)

 

While Wyrd Curiosities sells several different prayer cards for Loki, I’d chosen this particular one mostly because it features Grace Palmer’s beautiful artwork as well as including one of my favorite prayers to Loki, written by F. Arismendi:

lokiprayercardprayer

Lovely.

As well, I was delighted to see that the two cards I’d purchased were enclosed within a gorgeous notecard created by Dionysian Artist, featuring another stunning portrayal of Loki by Wayne McMillan…so that was an unexpected but pleasant surprise ❤

~~~

*As you may know, many Lokeans around the country celebrate the month of July by writing;  that’s 30 days of devotional posts for Loki.

 

 

New.

In a further effort to dedicate to working with Odin, I decided to order a new set of runes recently.

Though I have two other sets – one Elder Futhark and one Anglo-Saxon – in keeping with the spirit of creating a new devotional practice, I wanted to have a custom set made specifically for working with Odin.*

After receiving some recommendations and talking to different artisans, I chose a rune-craftsman whose shop is based in the Ukraine – Eril’s Workshop -because his work is simply stunning:

 

~~~

So my new runes were finished last week.

The artisan sent me a neat little photo essay that showed the creation process of my runes.

The runes blanks he used are made of a beautiful light oak – the color of honey -uniformly cut and neatly carved.

Despite being made of slices of oak, looking at the photos, they appear deceptively thin, light as feathers.

~~~

And they are…my runes arrived today.

They remind me of delicate cookies – honey wafers.

(Yes, the color of them does make me (almost!) want to lick them, imagining the sweet flavor of Daelmans Dutch Honey Wafers.)

I will be blooding them in the next few days, with intent to begin using them soon; perhaps by this coming Wednesday. 🙂

~~~

*Yes, I thought about making my own runes.  Perhaps that will be a project for further down the road.

 

 

 

This blog is not dead.

This blog is not dead.

However, my devotional practice has definitely changed, as nearly six months ago, I started working with Odin too:

LokiandOdinaltarfigures (2)

(Altar figures (l-r) Loki, Odin, ceramic, by artisan Dmitriy Kushnir from The Slavic Way on Etsy)

But maybe I am not.

As it has occurred to me that perhaps what I believe to be Odin could be simply another face of Loki….

But damned if it doesn’t feel different.

Frustrated, Incorporated.

 

Some of my long-time readers have begun to notice that my devotional practices seem to have shifted a bit.

A major feature of this surprising change has manifested in that while I still work primarily with Loki, I have begun some major work with Odin.

(Yes.  Believe me, no one was more surprised than I was concerning that change – trust me on that.)

The bulk of this work – regarding runes, astral travel, and energy movement – often occurs somewhere within the liminal hours, especially as Tuesday bleeds into Wednesday….

Which lately, has led me to have some rather restless nights, full of much sleep interruption.

*yawn*

Despite how I feel about that, it is the way it has been for the past several weeks now.

So, while walking one of my dogs this AM, this song came up:

….as I was thinking thoughts on how it’s been going concerning working with the Two of Them, and I realized that there are several aspects to these interactions that are expressed rather well through this bit o’ pandoramancy.

Because…yes.  

They *do* seem to  know just what I need

And They might just have the thing…

because They *both*  know what I’d pay to feel.

And… since I’m often prone to being a touch melodramatic when I’m sleep-deprived, I have been known to ask Them to – y’know –

 put me out of my misery…

The suicide king being Odin

                                            and you know the drama queen just has to be Loki.

Karma, and struggling.

I found this article by Erin Pavlina this afternoon, and I thought that I would share.

It explains rather succinctly a connection that I’ve been struggling with understanding concerning karma and the Universe.

Mostly, this article inadvertently answers why it is probable that we as spiritual human beings keep running into the same situations in life over and over, and what that has to do with karma.

Check it out.

 

The part that hit me the most profoundly was this:

Karma is about being given the opportunity to change your vibration and attract something different. No one is going to inflict that upon you, but the universe will bring you ample opportunities to choose a different path.

So if you’re holding out hope that something bad will happen to another person, you’re better off releasing, forgiving, and moving on, otherwise you will attract new opportunities that involve you needing to forgive someone. Are you catching my drift here?

If you are constantly wishing negative things will happen to those who wrong you, the universe will constantly bring you people who wrong you so you can continue wishing negative things will happen to them. That’s your vibration. That’s your karma. That’s what the universe thinks you want since that’s what you’re always thinking about.

Karma is not punishment, it’s not revenge, it’s not justice. Karma is the universe giving you opportunities to alter your vibration. Do with that what you will.”

How this relates to my present situation is that I have wondered for quite a while now why I keep getting thrown into situations wherein I keep finding myself feeling echoes of the past – people I’ve hurt, people that have hurt me, and the corresponding situations that I would rather not think about.

Perhaps in focusing on the pain of what I’ve been through, I am constantly re-opening the wounds rather than doing anything to heal them.

Perhaps this is what brought Him to me:  my latest spiritual work – in working with the God that I Had Promised Myself that I Would Never Work With – I have been forced to confront all the reasons why I had refused to work with Him for so long.

I began to see that the only way to move forward was to confront the lesson that kept being presented to me over and over in seeing His face, and the echoes of that premise: If you expect a monster, you will get a monster.

Yes, He is still capable of being a monster.

But the only way to move forward in my spiritual practice is to engage with Him.

And I am engaging with Him.

The only way out is to go through.

 

Worldbreaker.

Everything’s fine.

Then, everything’s *not* fine.

2016 has been a rollercoaster..and I don’t think that it has just been a rollercoaster for me.

Look at the rest of the world, I suppose.

i-cant-wait-to-stay-up-until-midnight-on-new-9976352

It would seem that everyone is struggling with something…not just me.

Not just my struggles.

~~~

I haven’t been posting, mainly because I’ve been keeping to the relative safety of writing in my notebooks, because 2016 has brought so many changes to my life that when I look back upon where I was, emotionally and spiritually, on this day in 2015, I am agog at how much has changed in my relationships, my attitudes, my writing….hell, even my devotional/spiritual practices.

As a matter of fact, so much has changed in my devotional practice that my head is sort of… spinning.

It’s been an interesting year, to say the least.

~~~

At the end of 2015, I was coming out of a major depressive episode.

Certain aspects of my life were either stagnant or evolving in a direction that I didn’t want to travel.  I felt stuck and sad and angry.

I had decided to end relationships with several persons whom I’d come to over-value so much that I’d thought of these folks as the basis of my spiritual community….so deciding to cut ties with those friends felt like cutting ties with my sense of community.

As well, I felt stagnant in my spiritual relationships.  I needed something to change but I didn’t know what or how

 

Though I had hope for 2016, I’d never in a million years expected the changes that were in store for me regarding my marriage, my circle of friends (or whom I would have considered my circle of friends), how I’d come to spend my free time,the people, places and things I would come to value, the skills that I would develop or the way that my devotional/spiritual practices would be completely overhauled.

Yes, my spiritual practices would suffer a complete overhaul in 2016.

And that is why I have chosen WorldBreaker as the title of this post.

Because, oddly enough, in retrospect, one of the only constants I see in the pattern of 2015 to 2016 was …Loki

And yes, that is true…I am working with Loki now.*

Though in late December 2015, I’d even gone as far as to pack up all of my altars -including His – because I was feeling disconnected from all of Them.

I was throwing what was essentially a tantrum of enormous spiritual proportions.

homerissues

I was trying so hard to feel and to do, and yet all I could feel was an immense sense of frustration and disconnection.

I was feeling what I thought that I was supposed to feel and I was doing what I thought was the ‘work’ that I needed to do…

And yet I was ….not.

Though I will admit what I did feel was this:

I wish you all had one neck and I had my hands around it.

(Those, by the way, are the second to last words of convicted murderer Carl Panzram, just before he was executed at Leavenworth Penitentiary in 1930)

(Do you see the WorldBreaker yet?)

Because that, my friends, is how I felt (inwardly, of course) about the whole business of not just the day to day functionings of my mundane life, but my spiritual life as well.

In late 2015, I definitely felt that if Life were a person, I wanted to choke that motherfucker out…and hard.

But I am not a violent person, so I could not even begin to guess where those feelings of rage were coming from at the time.

But I do…now.

dont-be-upset-1

(Yep.  That was me…being upset.  And oh…not working on my shit.  But boy, did I think I was!)

So, what changed?

Well, I can’t exactly write a recipe book now, can I?

It was my journey from 2015 on and through all of 2016 that  required a change in attitude towards a lot of situations that I didn’t particularly like that involved people that I didn’t particularly like.

I was entrenched in a battle of control and blame in my mundane life, and I was believing that these situations were somehow within my realm of control… but they were not.

I was the face of acceptance on the surface, but underneath all of that, I was angry and withholding.

I kept telling myself that I had let go of the past, but I had not….not entirely.

I was full of assumptions and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I was waiting and hiding and grumbling to myself.

I had expectations based upon assumptions, and I was feeding an ugly vicious cycle of blame and insecurity.

In short, I was living in the past, but thinking that I was moving on.

I thought I was open.  I thought I was being accepting and fair and loving and generous.  I thought that I was letting go.  I told myself constantly that I was holding myself accountable.  I was convinced that it was I who was fair and open and honest…and others were not.

It wasn’t me who refused to be, it was them.

And in my spiritual life – well, there’s a mirror.  I was insecure, tentative…also angry.

I had so much stuff on my altars.  I was meditating every day.  I felt like I was constantly giving Them time, giving Them energy, giving Them thought.

So why was I having the dark night of the soul?  Why was I feeling a fallow time?  Why did I feel so disconnected?

Because…you refuse.

You refuse to be open.

You refuse to be generous.

You do not allow….

You do not permit….

It will begin…when you begin.

BEGIN.

And so, in 2016, I began without even being aware of what I was beginning.

(Enter the WorldBreaker, stage left.)

Looking back upon the year, I realize that there were many occasions wherein I was thrust into many uncomfortable situations.

I look back upon these uncomfortable moments and I recall feeling forced to explain myself in many ways.

A lot of these moments featured me being forced to examine myself – my social anxieties, my prejudices, my decisions, my beliefs.**

But 2016 also rewarded me – the year even brought me a lot of growth, and even some new friends – or rather, I re-connected with myself in re-connecting with several ‘old’ friends – which led to my social circle increasing exponentially and unexpectedly at the same time.

As well, 2016 brought me joy in unexpected places (Arizona) and heartache in others (Washington DC)…but in the end, the slow change toward actually letting go of my need to control/create a specific outcome led to unexpected and entirely unforeseen outcomes.

While I do not have a lot of the same people in my life that I had had in 2015, I do have people in 2016.

As well, in 2016, I have done things that I never thought that I would do, I experienced things that I’d never dreamed of experiencing before, and craziest of all, I am actually working with yet another God that I had once insisted that I would *never* work with.

(Hel, as recently as two months ago, I would have refused to even look at Him, let alone work with Him in any way.)

Funny, how things can change so completely and so abruptly, eh?

onedecision

But that, my friends, is the story of a decision for another day entirely. 😉

 

So that was the trajectory of my 2016.

A year of rapid, dramatic (sometimes even melodramatic) emotional and spiritual change for me.

Courtesy of a relentless Breaker of Worlds.

Hail Loki, indeed ❤

~~~~

*In retrospect, I realize that up to a point, 2012-2015 was essentially ‘making a good show of working with Loki’ compared to  actually ‘working with’ Loki  :-/

**I felt ashamed, exposed…and about three months ago, it peaked in that a few folks even vilified me for speaking my mind, for writing what I wrote in this blog.  And yes, it stopped me.  A lot.

someday